Hot Summer Nights and Cold Winter Evenings: Demographic Differential Vulnerability to Heat Waves and Cold Spells in the Metropolitan Area of Vienna

Erich Striessnig, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Roman Hoffmann, Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Raya Muttarak , Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Anna Renner, Vienna University for Economics and Business
Leora Courtney-Wolfman, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID)

Climate change and its consequences are expected to affect populations worldwide. This study explores the impact of changing environmental conditions on population health in the metropolitan area of Vienna. A particular focus is placed on the effects of thermal hazards, which are predicted to become more severe, especially in fast-growing cities like Vienna. The study has two main objectives: First, we analyze the influences of temperature extremes, i.e. heat waves and cold spells, on morbidity and mortality using historical data on hospitalizations and medical treatment. Second, building on the findings from the first part of the study, we project future climate and population dynamics and estimate the expected health burden for the metropolitan area of Vienna. In addition to accounting for social factors as drivers of differential health vulnerabilities, we also consider structural aspects of the built environment, such as urban density or the availability of green spaces, which can help mitigate the harmful effects of temperature extremes. The expected insights from the study are of high relevance both for academic research and policy makers and have implications for urban planning and public health.

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 Presented in Session P10. Health Consequences of Environmental and Climate Change